Preventing unvaccinated persons from leaving their houses is ‘discrimination’ – CHR

Commission on Human Rights (CHR)

It would be "undue discrimination" to bar unvaccinated persons from leaving their houses, the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) said on Friday, July 30.

CHR Spokesperson Jacqueline Ann de Guia said “there are reasons for being unvaccinated that are beyond their control.”

De Guia cited the country has yet to vaccinate other priority groups such as indigent populations not covered by the A1-A4 category.

Should these groups be restricted from leaving their houses, it would negatively impact their ability to cope with the effects of the pandemic, she stressed.

She pointed out that vaccination remains one of the most important steps in easing out the pandemic, together with the recommended test, trace, and treat strategy.

But she said that vaccination reports in the country revealed that only 6.66 percent of the population, or about 7.2 million Filipinos, have been fully vaccinated. Meanwhile, only 10.48 percent, or about 11.43 million, of the population have received their first dose, she added.

She pointed out:

"The reality is that vaccine supply remains to be a challenge. At the same time, certain populations also experience vaccine hesitancy due to various reasons, including receiving wrong information on vaccines and their effects.

“Together with the entire nation, CHR continues to look forward to the end of the pandemic. But as we struggle and survive, CHR reminds the government that human rights must continue to be at the center of all its efforts.

“Ending the pandemic is, after all, in pursuit of the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health -- a fundamental human right.”

Thus, De Guia, a lawyer, said the CHR urges the government to address issues on vaccine supply and hesitancy, as well as improve the overall health system of the country to cover testing, tracing, and treatment of COVID-19 cases.